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West Side Story Collector's Edition Boxset - Limited Edition [DVD]


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Frequently Bought Together

West Side Story Collector's Edition Boxset - Limited Edition [DVD] + Fiddler on the Roof [DVD] [1971] + South Pacific / The King And I / Oklahoma! [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno
  • Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
  • Writers: Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Ernest Lehman, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Robert Wise, Saul Chaplin
  • Format: Limited Edition, PAL
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Nov 2003
  • Run Time: 152 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000BZNDB
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,245 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

West Side Story marked a small revolution in the history of the Hollywood musical when it was released in 1961. Enriched by Leonard Bernstein's marvellously brassy, challenging score--as redolent of the place as anything Gershwin ever wrote--the location shooting and aerial views of the Manhattan grid made New York a gritty backdrop to this modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet.

The film rightly became an instant classic which won ten Oscars and brought some of the greatest numbers in the era of the modern musical to a global audience. Everything gels, from Jerome Robbins' superlative choreography (he retains a director's credit with Robert Wise, although anxious studio bosses removed him from the film when costs started to mount), to Ernest Lehman's taught screenplay, some of Sondheim's most accessible early lyrics, and passionate, raw performances from the gang members and the lovers.

For many of the cast, including Richard Beymer as Tony and Natalie Wood as Maria, the film represents a creative climax which wouldn't be surpassed during the remainder of their distinguished careers. Rita Moreno is an outstanding Anita, even with her songs disappointingly dubbed, and George Chakiris' sinewy, arrogant Bernardo is magnetic. The whole thing still thrums with a youthful, dramatic energy that even a modern equivalent like Moulin Rouge can't match.

On the DVD: West Side Story thoroughly merits the attention to detail in this handsome Collector's Edition. The anamorphic (16:9) widescreen format reproduces the original cinema presentation, brilliantly serving the city panoramas and balletic fight scenes, as well as the softness of the love duets, while a newly processed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track brings Bernstein's score up as if the notes were still drying on the page. Extras abound. A "Remembering" documentary features significant contributions from director Robert Wise, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn and Rita Moreno. Die-hard fans will lap up the various galleries, comparisons, the original intermission music and even a complete copy of Ernest Lehman's screenplay. --Piers Ford

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By "dvorak64" on 25 Mar 2006
Format: DVD
What can you say about a film over 40 years old that still has the ability to captivate, excite and delight? The basic premise is that of romeo and juliet, brought into the 20th century new york gang culture. The Bernstein score still sounds fresh and vibrant, with it's jazzy yet flowing rhythms and melodies and the choreography is incredibly multi-layered but easy on the eye. The dancing is particularly impressive, with russ tamblyn and george chakiris leading the way. Okay, the singing voices of natalie wood and richard beymer are over-dubbed, but this should not detract from a musical which has the best score of any musical ever (great lyrics, too), and also some of the best choreography. A visual and aural treat.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By n3_biker on 9 Jan 2009
Format: DVD
The Academy got it right for once in 1961, crowning this masterpiece with 10 Oscars. All these years later, it looks and sounds absolutely stunning - slight reservations about Richard Beymer's Tony apart [I feel guilty about even saying that], it remains an almost flawless representation of what Hollywood does best. Of course, a great part of it is down to Leonard Bernstein's timeless score - Maria, Somewhere, Tonight, America - who could cram so many great songs into a musical these days? [What I've never understood is why Bernstein wasn't nominated for an Oscar]. Jerome Robbins's choreography is breathtaking and executed pefectly by the cast - look at the Cool sequence, particularly the tracking shot, and the exuberant America, and Robert Wise's direction was groundbreaking. Natalie Wood is wonderfully touching as Maria, Rita Moreno a peerless Anita, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris are both perfect, the supporting cast committed and working wonderfully as an ensemble.
No film musical has reached these heights since. For all its theatricality, I defy anyone to remain unmoved by the closing sequence. This is one of the indisputable classics of American cinema.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Mc on 18 Oct 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This review is for the recently released (I only got my pre-order yesterday) Blu-ray version of West Side Story. I couldn't wait to get the item out of its packaging and slotted into my Blu-ray player! I have waited years to watch this film in more or less the same video quality as I saw it on its release!

Well I would be less than honest if I didn't admit that some aspects of this film have become a bit dated. However, this is an absolute classic musical and there is so much to savour and enjoy. The music is magnificent as is the dancing and choreography.

The main purpose of this review is to pass comment on the quality of the new Blu-ray release. Is it worth the upgrade? My answer would be an emphatic `Yes'! The new release is superb. The colour palette is much improved with generally rich colours and good blacks and the picture is much sharper with better overall clarity. The sound quality is also excellent with a couple of options for the English listener. I chose the 7 track DTS default version which provided a very satisfying sound quality.

The new release comes with a modern picture in picture menu system and the useful `bookmark' feature so that you can personally mark all your favourite pieces. The film is presented in its original theatrical release complete with the intermission music. There are a whole host of extras which I have yet to view and my first impressions of this release are very favourable.
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Dec 2005
Format: DVD
I remember seeing 'West Side Story' for the first time in a Glasgow cinema in the 1970s when I was about 18 and being bowled over by it. I had never seen anything like it - in particular, the energy and expressiveness of the dance sequences were a new experience for me. It mirrors the 'Romeo and Juliet' story (which I did know) cleverly and effectively - there's a Prince, a Friar Lawrence, a Nurse and so on. The music is marvellous and the central performances excellent. I'm glad that it is now known that Marni Nixon was the wonderful singer who sang for Natalie Wood (she deserves that credit), but this does not detract from the pathos of the actress's performance ; she looks and behaves exactly as Maria should. It was a ground-breaking musical when it came out and there has been nothing since quite like it, so to have it in DVD is not just good but essential.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 26 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
"There's a place for us, a time and place for us. Hold my hand and we're halfway there."
Music: Leonard Bernstein Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim

And there is a movie for us. "West Side Story" is a classic on too many levels to describe here. Everything from the music to the choreography to the actors to...

One big plus is even if the story line is a classic they did not try to duplicate Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" with modern clothing. The movie still maintains the feel and action of the play.

This movie tells the story of two people Tony and Maria (Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood) from adverse backgrounds that fall in love. They must cope with their new feelings. And to complicit things they have trouble from their families and society. Will they overcome these things or will fait and circumstance thwart their efforts and tragedy arise?

I could write a book on what makes this movie great but it is best that you watch and judge for yourself.
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